“LOOK, you can’t all abstain,” stressed Leo Varadkar at a meeting with his fellow Fine Gael TDs earlier today, in relation to the looming shadow of a possible referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.
Varadkar had been speaking at an end-of-year Fine Gael conference, when he brought up the subject of a recent Oireachtas Committee vote in favour of putting the full repeal of the 8th amendment to public referendum, leading to groans from the assembled ministers who quickly realised that they would have to put their political heads on the block and decide whether or not to vote in favour of a referendum on the subject.
The Taoiseach quickly pointed out that while there was a tolerable amount of TDs that could abstain from voting, thus saving themselves from losing favour with either their pro-life or pro-choice constituents, the majority of the cabinet would have to draw straws to see who has to ‘toughen up and be a TD’.
“There’s four long straws, whoever draws them is free to abstain,” said Leo, holding out a fistful of straws to his TDs.
“The rest of you will have to vote. Now, you’re free to vote for or against the referendum, that’s your call. But remember you’ll have to deal with your decision at the next ballot box. So it’s important to not vote based on your own ethics or stance on abortion, but instead on what you think the majority of your voters will agree with you on”.
Varadkar made sure to draw first himself, miraculously pulling out a long straw that will allow him to remain on both sides of the argument without tarnishing his image as a really sound, progressive leader.